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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, February 4, 2002

Lobos heat up, freeze out Eagles, 51-38

Staff Writer
It was cold outside and there was no heat in the Pecos High School gym Friday night after the furnace broke down. Fans could keep their coats on, but that wasn't an option for the Pecos Eagles or the El Paso Mountain View Lobos.

But by the second half of their game, the Lobos discovered one way to keep warm _ don't stop moving. Mountain View dove for loose balls, crashed the boards for rebounds and continued to run their offense to get open, while the Eagles did little of all three and as a result, saw a two-point halftime lead turn into a 51-38 loss Friday, in a battle between the two teams trying to climb out of the District 2-4A basement.

"We got out-hustled, and we just didn't deserve to win," said coach Tino Acosta. "Until we understand that concept we are not going to win."

The Eagles had just ended their 31-game district losing streak, and were trying to win their second straight district game for the first time in seven years. Pecos didn't look that great in the first half trying to accomplish that goal, but neither did Mountain View, and after Richard Rodriguez came down and nailed a 3-pointer with three seconds left in the half, the Eagles were able to go into the locker room with a 22-20 lead.

But when the second half began Zuri Espinoza hit a 3-pointer to put the Lobos back in front, and after Isaiah Armendariz gave Pecos what turned out to be their last lead with a short jumper moments later, the Eagles then went 12 minutes without a field goal, managing just a pair of foul shots until Jason Sanchez nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2:47 left in the game.

By that time, Mountain View had built up a 41-26 lead, and while Sanchez would score again moments later off a steal and lay-up, the Eagles were still out-hustled at the other end of the floor, as Caesar Gonzales, Albert Arrellano and Armando Bonilla got inside for rebound lay-ups or drew fouls and wound up on the free throw line.

"We showed some life with our press at the end of the game because we hustled, but we didn't other than that," said Acosta. "If we had hustled when we were in our man (defense) and zone press in the first quarter we would have done something, but we just laid back and deserved to lose the game."

Rodriguez and Joey Ortega, who combined for 37 points on Tuesday in Pecos' win over Canutillo, managed only 13 points combined on Friday night. Ortega's only two baskets of the night came in the opening period, while other than his 3-pointer just before the half, Rodriguez' only other basket was a lay-up as the final buzzer sounded, and other than Armendariz in the early going, none of the other Pecos players were able to pick up the slack. The Eagles' foul shooting also was a problem, especially in the first half when they went 6-for-13 from the line, as part of a 10-for-20 night overall.

Mountain View had its own problems fumbling the ball away in the first half, and Bonilla went 0-for-5 from the foul line. But the Lobos' post still ended up tied with Rudy Meija for high-point scorer with 12, because he kept moving around and got behind Pecos' defense for a series of lay-ups, mostly in the Lobos' 17-2 run in the second half.

"You can slice it anyway you want. If you don't hustle it doesn't matter what you do, you aren't going to win," said Acosta. "It's disappointing after the way we fought on Tuesday to lose like this, but we can't be satisfied with winning just one game if we want to win any more."

Armendariz had 10 points to lead Pecos, which is now 1-6 in district play, while Mountain View improves to 2-5. The Eagles are home again on Tuesday night, to face the San Elizario Eagles in a 7 p.m. start.

Pecos did win Friday's junior varsity game, 60-35 over Mountain View. Jorge Aguilar had 17 points and Matthew Levario added nine for Pecos.


Amaya 0 0-0 0; D. Gonzalez 0 0-0 0; Ramirez 2 2-3 6; Espinoza 1 2-2 5; Guterrez 0 0-0 0; Meija 5 0-0 12; Renteria 1 0-0 2; C. Gonzalez 3 3-4 9; Arrellano 1 3-4 5; Bonilla 6 0-5 12. Totals 19 10-18 51.

PECOS (38)

Sanchez 3 0-0 8; Plummer 0 0-0 0; Barreno 1 0-0 2; Armendariz 3 4-8 10; Rodriguez 2 2-5 7; Parent 0 2-2 2; Parada 1 0-0 3; Ortega 2 2-5 6. Totals 12 10-20 38.

Mountain View 14 6 17 14 - 51

Pecos 10 12 4 12 - 38

Three-point goals: Mountain View 3 (Meija 2, Espinoza), Pecos 4 (Sanchez 2, Rodriguez, Parada). Fouled out: Pecos, Armendariz. Total fouls: Mountain View 18, Pecos 18.

Turnover woes add up to loss for Pecos girls

Different team, same problems for the Pecos Eagle girls' basketball team on Friday night.

The Eagles, who trailed at halftime last Tuesday against the Canutillo Golden Eagles by 34 points, were down by 32 at the half Friday night against the El Paso Mountain View Lobos and ended up losing by a 72-31 final score to remain winless in District 2-4A play this season.

"We're just too scared, that's all," said Eagles' coach Veronica Valenzuela. "We had 19 turnovers in the first half, and that's because of our passes. We just want to make and automatic pass downcourt without looking and we also don't want to meet the pass."

The Eagles did shoot better down at Mountain View's end of the court than they did three days earlier against Canutillo, scoring 15 first half points this time after managing only four in their Tuesday night game. But the Lobos also scored more points than the Golden Eagles, racking up 47 in the first half due mostly to turnovers off the full-court press, before switching to a halfcourt defense in the final two periods.

Aside from the turnover problems, the Eagles were also plagued by foul problems. Leslie Rodriguez picked up two fouls in the game's first 1:45, and the Eagles would have three players with three fouls apiece by halftime and eventually lost three to fouls before the game was over. The fouls also sent Mountain View to the line 38 times, which translated into 25 points.

Around all of that, the Lobos were getting points out of both their first and second team players. Martha Alvarez had eight of her game-high 17 points in the first period, which ended with a 3-pointer by Jessica Ortiz that gave Mountain View a 25-6 lead. In the second half, it was Vanessa Ortiz who did the most scoring, putting in 11 of her 13 points in the final two periods, most of that in the final quarter, after the Eagles outscored the Lobos 9-7 in the third period.

Jessica Martinez finished with 12 points, including a pair of short jumpers in the opening period, on two of the trips downcourt when the Eagles were able to break the Lobos' full-court press.

The loss left Pecos with an 0-9 record going into their final regular season home game, Tuesday night against the San Elizario Eagles, who fell into a tie for the third and final playoff spot on Friday with a 40-32 loss to Canutillo.

Mountain View also won Friday's junior varsity game, 35-24. Mari Baez led the Eagles with seven points.

Golfers place fourth in season-opening tourney

Fourth place in a tournament was a good enough achievement in the past for the Pecos Eagle girls golf team. But after this past weekend's San Angelo Girls Golf Classic, coach Tina Hendrick is expecting more out of her girls by the time the Region I-4A competition arrives in late April.

Pecos placed fourth in the Orange Division at San Angelo in their Spring season opener, one spot better than they ended up in San Angelo last year during Region I-4A competition. However, all three teams in front of Pecos were also among those who finished ahead of the Eagles at last year's regionals, and will be the teams they'll probably have to get past again if they want to advance to the Class 4A state tournament.

"Lauren Martinez was fourth. Three other girls beat her," Hendrick said. "She played two good rounds of golf, but the other girls just need to improve their caliber of play. They need to bring their expectations higher to get out of regionals."

The Eagles did improve their score by 32 strokes on Saturday, dropping from an opening round 365 to a 333 to finish at 698 overall. But the team right in front of them, Southlake Carroll, dropped their score by 33 strokes and finished with a 364-331-698, while Pecos' former district rivals Snyder and Andrews didn't cut as many strokes off their totals, but still managed the two low rounds on both days of the tournament. The Tigers won with a 343-317-660 score, six shots up on the Mustangs, who finished with a 346-320-666.

"All three teams who beat us at San Angelo we'll see again at regionals. We have the capability to produce lower scores, we just have to set our minds to it," said Hendrick.

Martinez had the second lowest round of the day on Saturday, a 75 after an opening round 86 to finish with a 161 overall. None of the other Pecos girls were able to break 80 at the Riverside Golf Course, but all did cut their scores during the final round of play.

Cassie Foster shot a 92-82-174, Candace Hilliard shot a 90-89-179, Brandi North had a 101-87-188 and Dena Dutchover shot a 97-93-190 for the 36-hole tournament.

The Eagles did move past one team they finished behind at regionals last April, Granbury, which placed fifth at San Angelo this past weekend with a 375-344-719 score. Pecos' future Class 3A district rivals Monahans and Fort Stockton were next, with the Loboes shooting a 399-350-749 and the Prowlers a 398-354-752. A total of 14 teams were entered in the Orange Division.

The Eagles' next tournament is this coming weekend, at the Big Spring Invitational. It will also be the opening tournament of the season for Pecos' boys, who like the girls, will be trying to improve on their April results after qualifying for regionals each of the past three seasons.

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